A survey indicates that the majority of our customers intend to use public transport after the coronavirus pandemic almost as much as before the pandemic. However, respondents were concerned about whether it will be safe to ride on public transport.
The use of public transport has declined considerably since March during the coronavirus pandemic, but based on a survey conducted in April, changes in travel habits that occurred during the pandemic may eventually be minor when compared to pre-pandemic travel habits.
Nearly 70% of respondents intended to use public transport several times a week or several times a day after the coronavirus pandemic. A similar percentage of survey participants were using public transport actively before the pandemic as well.
Although our customers have used their own vehicles during the coronavirus pandemic, respondents do not expect that they will use their cars more after the pandemic than before it.
The use of public transport has been reduced by HSL's recommendation to avoid non-essential travel and people working remotely; almost 70% of the respondents have worked from home at least occasionally during the pandemic. In the future, the impact of remote work on the use of public transport may be smaller than expected, as 60% of respondents did not intend to continue remote work after the pandemic, or would rarely do so at most.
Safety is a shared challenge for us and our customers
Although these results are promising for public transport, the survey revealed our customers' concerns about health and safety. In the respondents' opinion, a private car was a safer means of transport during the pandemic than a public transport vehicle.
"I am glad to hear that our customers want to return to using public transport”, says Executive Director Suvi Rihtniemi. “However, customers’ safety concerns mean that we have a lot of work ahead of us in order to maintain our customers' trust in our services. Our task is not made easier by the fact that our finances have become tighter due to the massive losses in ticket revenue caused by coronavirus.”
We are using survey results to develop our services
We sent the survey invitation to emails in our customer database and received approximately 40,500 replies. Responses were collected from 21 to 30 April.
We take issues concerning passengers’ health and safety seriously. Our experts, such as public transport planners and communications specialists, are using the survey responses to help plan our post-pandemic services.